Reader Rant : ‘I watched the City Council debate on the Belmont Park lease and agree it’s not favorable to you and me.’

by on September 25, 2014 · 1 comment

in Culture, Economy, Environment, History, Ocean Beach, Politics, San Diego

By Anonymous Reader

It was interesting to watch the San Diego City Council meeting on the proposed lease for Belmont Park – last Monday, Sept. 22nd – to listen to who said what, how they said it and what they meant when they said it. Watch it for yourself.

For an oceanfront piece of property, the City of San Diego AKA you and me, has only collected annual rental income of $61,000 averaged. No, that number is not missing a zero! That’s $5,083 per month.

No matter who takes over the lease, the city is on the hook to pay for the repairs to the Plunge. Prior lessees were responsible for maintenance but that didn’t always happen and the city did little to enforce the terms of the lease and now the Plunge is a mess!

If Pacifica Enterprizes, the current lessee, does the repairs they get a rent credit. If Pacific does not do the repairs, the city can hire a contractor to get the work done and issue a bond for the repairs. The bond premiums can be paid from the rental income which the lessee will no longer be entitled to receive. Yes, Pacifica has done many improvements of the property but they let the athletic club close and allowed the Plunge to further deteriorate. Why should the city believe they won’t continue this practice?

By the way, there’s another issue : seismic retro fit standards need to be met. How does that affect repairs and opening of the plunge?

There are 23 years left on the existing lease and Pacifica wants it extended to 50 years. The lease is NOT favorable to the city and as one intelligent speaker mentioned, the lease is too cheap and a 50 year lease is more sell-able than usable.

Assignment of the lease does not require city council approval. So Pacifica is free to sell the lease at anytime to anyone as the current lease is written.

Councilwoman Shari Lightner – led they way on questions and backed up Councilman Ed Harris.

Councilman Scott Sherman insinuated that because Councilman Harris had been appointed he had no business “to jack this up”. I guess if you are appointed you are suppose to sit in council meeting like a bump on a log???

Council President Todd Gloria mentioned a few times that everyone should be respectful of Councilman Harris and that he DOES represent his district.

Councilwoman Lorie Zapf – who at times does not finish a sentence or thought – threws her hands up repeatedly saying; “it’s a good deal for the taxpayer” and “it’s a fantastic deal”. It was important to Zapf to get the deal done, extend the lease and make sure Pacifica wraps up their deal to acquire the roller coaster also.

The mayor’s office is in love with the proposed deal. So is the lessor of the roller coaster who is anxious to get rid of their lease.

Other similar municipal leases such as Santa Monica pier have higher rent percentage and shorter terms.

Me thinks … the city should put the contract out to bid. Ask the lessee of the Santa Monica Pier if they are interested along with other successful municipal lessees and let’s make sure that the San Diego taxpayer is getting the best deal. Let’s not make this another Corky McMillin deal.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

OB Dude April 6, 2015 at 2:53 pm

What the tape of the city meeting today on Belmont Park….

Byron Wear gave it blessings :-(


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